Hard Work for What? A Student's View

K-12 Testing

Too often drowned out by the debate is the way such testing affects disabled students' experience of school and their motivation to work as hard as they must to overcome their disabilities and be successful.


Robert Wilson, a 16-year-old from Nashville with attention-deficit disorder, described his experience with state tests. ''When I am still taking the test and I see people get up, it makes me want to finish up and hurry. It takes me a while to process anything. I hear noises and I look. I feel worried that I'm not going to get all the answers right.''


For Wilson, as is true for more than half of public school students, the state tests used for NCLB are high stakes for individual students. Wilson said he doesn't mind spending four or five hours a night on homework and would like to put his artistic talent to work at the Savannah College of Art and Design, but fears he will fail the state tests and be denied a diploma. ''I feel really sad, really different and hurt because all the hard work got kicked to the curb,'' said Robert.